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Hypersonic Aviator AX6 review: Hypersonic Aviator AX6

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The Good Top graphics; available in 11 colors; three-year warranty; high-performance hard drive.

The Bad Big and heavy; weak speakers; low performance.

The Bottom Line The huge, 64-bit Hypersonic Aviator AX6 looks stylish, but it can't keep up with the fastest gaming laptops.

Visit manufacturer site for details.

7.0 Overall

Review Sections

Great looks and a 64-bit processor count for a lot in the gaming world, but unfortunately, Hypersonic's Aviator AX6 puts all of its eggs in these two baskets. Although we like this desktop replacement's AMD Athlon 64 processor, as well as its top-notch graphics, long-lasting battery, and availability in 11 colors, this machine lags on performance, and it's shoehorned into one of the biggest and heaviest notebooks around. We can't recommend it over other gaming laptops, such as the Sager NP4780 or the Alienware Area-51.

The Hypersonic Aviator AX6 stretches to 1.9 by 12.8 by 10.9 inches and tips the scales at 8.4 pounds. Add to the travel weight a mammoth 1.3-pound AC adapter, which has its own internal cooling fan, and you have a laptop that's bigger and heavier than the Athlon 64-powered eMachines M6000 series, which has a larger screen and costs about $1,000 less.

We love the Aviator AX6's sophisticated black-and-silver appearance. And for an extra $300 to $450, Hypersonic will paint your new laptop one of 10 automotive paint colors, each as smooth and silky as a new Porsche.

The AX6's guts are also flashy, with AMD's 3200+ Athlon 64 processor, 512MB of 400MHz RAM, a fast 60GB 7,200rpm hard drive, and a CD-RW combo or DVD-RW drive. The AX6's graphics are just as leading edge, with ATI's Mobility 9600 accelerator that has 128MB of its own video memory. Unfortunately, these high-end innards don't do themselves justice. The AX6 scored 146 on CNET's MobileMark 2002 test and a 9,926 on SysMark 2001--nothing to write home about and well behind the scores from the fastest gaming laptops, such as the HP Pavilion zd7000 and Alienware Area-51.

The Aviator AX6 squeezes in one of the biggest keyboards on a notebook, but the center of the keyboard flexes under even moderate pressure. The system's audio also disappointed us: we could barely hear the speakers above the Aviator AX6's cooling fan. Luckily, the laptop does have four USB 2.0 plugs, a parallel port, an external monitor S-Video-out, a FireWire port, and a single PC Card slot. The system is also flash-card-ready, with a single slot that can handle SmartMedia, Secure Digital, or Memory Stick formats.

The Aviator AX6 we looked at came with Hypersonic's upgraded Platinum three-year warranty, which covers everything and comes with lifetime support. If you'd rather tempt fate, a standard one-year warranty, which covers repairs as well as phone and e-mail support, will lower the price tag by $334. The company's generous display policy offers to replace any screen that has a dead pixel in the center or one on the periphery, a standard we wish others would adopt.

Mobile application performance  (Longer bars indicate better performance)
BAPCo MobileMark 2002 performance rating  

Battery life  (Longer bars indicate longer battery life)
BAPCo MobileMark 2002 battery life in minutes  

Maximum application performance  (Longer bars indicate faster performance)
BAPCo SysMark 2002 rating  
SysMark 2002 Internet content creation  
SysMark 2002 office productivity  
Hypersonic Aviator AX6
273 
361 
206 
HP zv5000z
247 
344 
178 

3D graphics performance  (Longer bars indicate faster performance)
Futuremark's 3DMark 2001 SE  

System configurations:

HP zv5000z
Windows XP Pro; Athlon 64 3200+ 2GHz; 512MB DDR SDRAM 400MHz; Nvidia GeForce4 440 Go 64MB; Toshiba MK8025GAS 80GB 4,200rpm

Hypersonic Aviator AX6
Windows XP Home; Athlon 64 3200+ 2GHz; 512MB DDR SDRAM 400MHz; ATI Mobility Radeon 9600 64MB; Hitachi Travelstar 7K60 60GB 7,200rpm

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